The Risk Communications and Community Engagement (RCCE) Committee of the Ministry of Health conducted a compliance check earlier today in town to assess the level of adherence to public health measures in shops.
Joined by the Infection Prevention Control (IPC) Team and students from the National Institute for Health and Social Studies, they observed interactions at select shops while filling out forms with designated areas for evaluation.
“As this is the festive season, a time when many come to town, the team felt it necessary to engage with retailers to understand how they are doing with implementing the necessary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Nancy Ng Ping Cheun, Principal Information and Communication Officer and the Lead for RCCE at the Ministry of Health.
Malls and arcades visited include Orion Mall, Deevas Arcade, Shipping House, Unity House, OJ mall and Victoria House.
“All the retailers were very welcoming and were happy to share what they are doing to reinforce the messages,” Mrs Ng Ping Cheun added.
“They also shared some of the constraints that they face, such as customers refusing to practice the different measures like wearing masks and some financial limitations when trying to implement the measures.”
Key areas considered in the check are the availability of sanitisers, mask wearing by customers and workers, cleaning and disinfection routines, implementation of physical distancing, and others. Using the feedback collected from the activity, the RCCE and IPC teams will continue to work further with these establishments and others to help them identify sustainable ways to maintain the necessary measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
“Continuous sensitisation is important and when done on an individual basis it is more effective,” Rita Jean, IPC Coordinator at the Ministry of Health said following the activity.
“While people are aware of the measures, they are reluctant to put it into practice, because sometimes they do not understand the reason why it is being done. Engaging with the retailers one to one is a good opportunity to truly explain the difference that the measures make, plus they are also able to ask questions,” Ms Jean added.
As part of the activity, the group also interacted with shoppers to reinforce health messages and to share some giveaway items such as masks, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Victoria, and hand sanitisers that will significantly aid in the application of the measures.
“I would like to thank the retailers for their eager participation in the activity and commend them for their effort so far,” Mrs Ng Ping Cheun said. “We will replicate this activity in other establishments and hope to gather more feedback to inform our communication and liaison with various communities.”
She concluded by adding that the checks will continue to provide further guidance to retailers on the purpose of the different measures and that she is certain they will use the newly acquired information to improve.